July 25, 2021

weaker than expected push from the far right in local elections

The local elections in Finland, Sunday, June 13, saw the expected victory of the right-wing opposition, in an election marked by the clear progression of the far-right party of the Finns, but far from the very big score predicted by the surveys.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democrats have limited the damage in the first electoral test since the arrival of the young left-wing elected to power in 2019.

Conservatives from the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) led the vote for some 300 Finnish municipalities, with 21.1% of the vote, according to almost final results covering more than 99% of the ballots on Sunday evening. With this score slightly improving compared to the previous election in 2017, they are ahead of the Social Democrats of Mme Marine. If they lose nearly two points compared to the local elections of four years ago, the latter obtained a result much better than that predicted by the polls, with a score of 17.8%, identical to that of their victory in the legislative elections of 2019.

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An increase of five points compared to 2017

The main surprise came from the nationalist formation of the Finns party: promised a score close to 18% according to the latest polls, they finally obtained 14.5%. This is a record in local elections for the anti-immigration and eurosceptic party led by Jussi Halla-aho, and an increase of nearly five points compared to 2017. But this score leaves it in the rank of fourth party , behind the Center, a member of the government coalition (15%).

These municipal elections were originally scheduled to take place in April but had been postponed due to a peak in Covid-19 cases, in Finland which has been among the countries most spared from the virus in Europe. A record that has earned high levels of opinions favorable to Sanna Marin for his management of the Covid.

But budgetary tensions with his ally in the Center threatened the coalition with explosion, and a controversy erupted over the supposedly undue reimbursement of some of his family meals, including breakfasts, at the official residence of Kesäranta.

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The World with AFP